Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam commends Florida's wildland firefighters for their proactive work using prescribed fire to reduce wildfire risk throughout Florida's 67 counties. Since January, the Florida Forest Service has conducted or authorized prescribed fires on more than 919,000 acres. Prescribed fire is a safe way to ensure ecosystem health and reduce wildfire risk. The Florida Forest Service treated more acres with prescribed fire last year than any other state forestry agency in United States history.

“The Florida Forest Service has been steadfast in its efforts to create the largest and most active prescribed fire program in the country,” said Commissioner Adam H. Putnam. “Because of the hard work and sacrifices of our wildland firefighters, Florida is a safer place.”

In addition to wildfire response and suppression, Florida Forest Service wildland firefighters help keep Florida's citizens and visitors safe by using prescribed fire to reduce the buildup of flammable vegetation and debris in areas where structures intermingle with natural areas. Currently, almost one-third of Florida's population lives in these types of high risk areas. By using prescribed fire in an area that poses a high wildfire risk, a future wildfire in the same area will be less intense, less dangerous and easier to extinguish.

“Florida's prescribed fire program encompasses a long-term, sustained approach to reducing wildfire risk in surrounding communities, providing for resiliency across landscapes and keeping forests healthy through prescribed fire,” said Jim Karels, Florida State Forester. 

Through the use of prescribed fire, the Florida Forest Service has helped reduce wildfire risk on more than 23 million acres of public and private land over the past decade. 

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than 1 million acres of public forest land while protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. Learn more about Florida Forest Service programs.